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Our health system should empower and support us to live happy and healthy lives. But increasingly, thousands of us are feeling frustrated by high-cost, low-value and overly complex health insurance policies. CHOICE research finds the majority of us don’t feel like we get value from our health insurance and are hit with high costs when…

Read More Fairer health insurance

Banks breached their Code of Banking Practice 10,123 times in 2017–18, according to a Banking Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (CCMC) report released today. The CCMC said these self-reported breaches of the Banking Code affected more than 3.4 million people, costing them more than $95 million. However, these impacts are likely to be significantly understated. The number…

Read More Banks’ compliance, monitoring and reporting deficient, report finds

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The UK and Australian energy markets are remarkably similar. In both markets a smart meter rollout is currently underway. Comparing the rights the UK regulator gives UK consumers to control their smart meter, against the total lack of control the  Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) offers Australian consumers, is enlightening. In this article by Dr Martin…

Read More Who controls the data your smart meter collects about you?

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ASIC has released its first review of the rapidly growing buy now pay later industry. The review of this diverse and evolving market has found that buy now pay later arrangements are influencing the spending habits of consumers, especially younger consumers. A buy now pay later arrangement allows consumers to purchase and obtain goods and…

Read More ASIC puts spotlight on the rapidly growing buy now pay later industry

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The number of smart products and objects connected to the internet is rapidly expanding. Worryingly, some products are so insecure that someone with minimal hacking skills can access cameras and microphones, communicate directly with people in the house or access other devices in the home.  Consumers International and the Internet Society have produced a video and some practical advice…

Read More Smart products – protect yourself and your family from risks

The Morrison Government is calling on businesses to take action to promote their exemption programs for paper billing fees to reduce the number of vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers paying fees to receive paper bills. At the recent Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs, Ministers from the Commonwealth, states and territories agreed to provide a…

Read More Government calls on business to exempt vulnerable consumers from paper billing fees

The Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee (the Committee) released its Annual Compliance Report today. A copy can be downloaded here. The Committee welcomes an increase in self reporting of breaches of the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice (the Code). However, many of those who subscribe to the Code still have work to do to achieve good…

Read More Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee releases Annual Report 

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Retirement village residents and their families will be better protected under new legislation that has passed Parliament. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the NSW Coalition implemented a number of reforms recommended by Kathryn Greiner AO, following her independent inquiry into the retirement village sector last year. “For too long, retirees and their families…

Read More Retirement Village Shake Up

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“Given energy prices on the rise while the cost of solar power systems declines, it’s little wonder that almost one in four Australian households are using some form of solar power,” says CHOICE spokesperson Nicky Breen. “Interest in solar is growing with more than 750,000 solar power systems installed across the country in the last…

Read More Where to start with solar

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The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition has again called for the Australian Government to introduce much needed reforms to underpin the delivery of telecommunications services across Australia. The RRRCC repeated its call when responding to the government’s proposals, flagged in a Department of Communications and the Arts consultation paper, which focuses on the reliability…

Read More Regional coalition repeats call for reform to telecoms services